Monthly Archives: May 2015

Three wise men on the beach

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We spent the last 2 weeks in Goa…and a lot of time on the beach. As always, there were lots of learnings and discoveries, ‘aha’ moments and deep discussions (i was not really a part of most of it). The three brothers (when they were not fighting and destroying each others sand castles) were trying all kids of stuff with sand and their sand toys. I was just enjoying watching the interactions and conversations. Here are some excerpts:

1. The sea is taking all our toys!
Sitting with their plastic sand toys right where the waves were coming in, the boys struggled to hold onto their belongings as the waves kept carrying them off. AMeya looked at the vast water body before him, sighed and exclaimed “The sea is taking all out toys Aai!!!”
However, something more interesting emerged from this dilemma… they soon figured out that if they filled their buckets with sand the waves were not able to “take them away”. Once they had this piece sorted at least their buckets were safe…

2. The filling of buckets however soon led to another discovery…reminiscent of Archimedes in a way. So, Sid had his bucket half filled with water. The boys started putting sand in it for fun and Nish noticed that “by magic” there was more water in the bucket. They put in more sand and the level rose some more. “Look!” said Nish, “the sand is doing magic. It is making more water in the bucket!” Scientific technicalities aside i would say it was quite a discovery!

3. Making lakes, rivers and dams: nothing like a beach to explore different phenomena. The kids made different types of water bodies by digging the sand in different ways. They made tracts in the sand that the waves flowed into and flowed back like little rivulets. When they dug a deep hole the waves filled it up and they got a pond. They also used bits of driftwood and large flat pebbles to make dams! It was a process experimetation, trial and error.

4. “look the sand does not fall!” They also discovered that when they took wet sand and added a little more water to it it developed a different consistency – one that barely budged from the bucket even when they held it upside down!

These were just a few of the discussions at the beach … we talked about tides (and the waves creeping in to take away our plastic mat), we looked at different prints in the sand…crows, gulls, dogs, cows and people, we looked for shells (and found some crabs too), we realized how much garbage gets thrown into the sea, we talked about water pollination – because we found all kinds of seeds and pods getting washed ashore.

All in all a lot of fun and tons of discovering. Some of the discoveries led to follow up conversations, some did not. But it is amazing how kids can find wonder and learning all around them!

my incredible little doctors

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This evening before bedtime, the boys were playing with their doctor’s kit. Sid was on the bed with his stethoscope and Nish and Amu cam along in an imaginary ambulance accompanied by lots of loud siren sounds.

“What’s the problem?” asked Dr. Sid
“The patient is here” said Nish, pointing to Amu
“What is wrong with him?” asked Dr. Sid
“He’s not well…he is dead” said Nish
“Ok…let me take his temperature…now an injection…it won’t hurt don’t worry” said Dr. Sid
And the dead patient smiled broadly and said “thank you Doctor, I feel much better already!”

Oh…the simplicity of early childhood!

of birds and bees and beards

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This evening, after his bath, Nish came up to me looking a little distraught. “aai” he started in a worried voice (nish is a master of the worried voice) “…i think i have a bone in my penis. Actually its not in my penic..its in this thing under it” “That’s your scrotum” i replied not sure where we were headed with this. “You don’t have a bone there”
“no no there is something there…its hard like a bone. it’s not a bone??”
“Nope” i replied and tried to return to my task of folding and putting the laundered clothes away.
“Then what is it???” he asked persistently following his line of inquiry
“Those are your testes” i replied, sticking to basic facts and volunteering nothing more
“What do they do?” he asked me in all earnestness
“Um…many things…one of which is to produce testosterone.. it will help you become more ‘manly’ as you grow older…like getting a mustache and a beard.
Now Nish looked horrified..worried was passe…
“I DON”T WANT a mustache or a beard!!!” he exclaimed
“hey, if you don’t like it you can always shave …your baba (dad) does it everyday”
“Oh disgusting! i don’t want a beard and a mustache! And i don’t want to shave! it is so much jard work to do everyday…i don’t want to!”
Me, trying to lighten the mood “well, i guess you could get it all removed by laser so it will never come back huh? that’s something we can think about later”
Nish after a few minutes of thinking this over..”Aai, that lazy (laser) shop you mentioned…can e go there tomorrow itself?”

Guess he really does not want his mustache and beard now does he???!!!

Playing indoors

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The summer is really and truly here. The afternoons are hot and the kids really don’t want to go down or outside. I don’t have any help at home and the kids are on vacation so I need to find ways to keep them busy without being super engaged as i need to get more mundane stuff like cooking and clearing up done.

After spending some time in Mumbai we finally got back to bangalore yesterday. The boys were happy to be home and pulled out all the toys they had missed. But today they wanted to do ‘something else’.

I had too much stuff to do, so i found an easy way out…and it really worked well. I put a mattress on the floor. on both sides i lined up the cushions and seats from our cane sofa set and also added dining chair foam cushions.

The boys could make what they wanted of it. Sid decided this was perfect for somersaults and he tried all sorts of things with that..running starts, trying to create and incline using 2 pillows and trying to somersault down that. Amu was most fascinated and a very willing learner…a quick study too. So both master and pupil practiced their gymnastics while Nish decided that the set up was great for his cars. So he had elaborate parking lots, cars going down slopes, etc. He experimented with what inclines would work for the car without it toppling, how fast a truck could go without its confetti cargo flying off, etc.

Intermittently, the gym mat/car course turned into some sort of obstacle course, with the boys hopping form cushion to cushion, crawling on the mat and more. Once their imaginations took over it was like being on auto pilot.

I got dinner cooked and sorted, put a bunch of things away, unpacked… all this with out a single instance of being called in to help or intervene.

We all cleaned up together before we went down for a swim. Cleanup was super simple – just involved putting the cushions all back in place and shoving the mattress back where it belonged.

Definitely something i would do again in a few days!

The Mulberry Cooperative

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I just liked how that sounded…so in case you are wondering if we’ve taken up an agricultural hobby…negative.

We were in Lonavala last week. The boys had been so boisterous at home in Mumbai, cranky, squabbling and fighting…mom decided it would be nice for them to just be able to run around in the garden and let off some pent up energy. So we all drove up to Lonavala (just what the doctor ordered).

Sure enough, the boys were running all over the garden, enjoying the trees and the grass and the little pond. The highlight of the first day (and our trip) for them however, was the mulberry tree.

Otherwise busy snatching stuff from each other and complaining loudly about it…the mulberry tree actually managed to bring the trio together. The tree had lots of mulberries on it..more red than black but once they got a taste of the mulberry they wanted more …and more. The ones on the lower branches were quickly picked and eaten but they still wanted more…however, the others were a little too high for them.

Nish and Sid tried jumping but they only managed to grasp at some of the leaves. Finally they came up with a plan…they came up with what i decided to call the mulberry cooperative. Sid jumped, caught hold of a leaf and pulled it gently down (he quickly realized that if he wasn’t gentle the leaf would simply tear). As he pulled the branch down using the leaf, Nish secured the branch and pulled it lower, Finally Amu was able to pick the mulberries for all of them while his brothers held the branches down for him. They all shared the spoils and proudly sported reddinsh purple stains all around their lips!